The Stop & Shop supermarket chain reached a tentative agreement last night with members of five regional chapters of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union that went on a 11-day strike that impacted 240 stores across New England.
“We are very pleased to announce Stop & Shop has reached fair new tentative agreements with UFCW Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445 and 1459, which represent our 31,000 associates in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island,” the company said in a statement. The tentative three-year agreement includes “increased pay for all associates, continued excellent health coverage for eligible associates and ongoing defined benefit pension benefits for all eligible associates.”
While Stop and Shop added that the company was “glad to have our associates return to work,” Mark Espinosa, president of UFCW Local 919, one of the Connecticut chapters involved in the strike, was far less conciliatory, condemning the supermarket chain as a “monster employer” and insisting the job walkout was “an epic battle that the nation watched.” In a YouTube video message, Espinosa said the tentative agreement, which will require ratification by the union membership, was a game-changer.
“This contract is going to give you, for the future, the financial security, the dignity, the respect that you all have deserved and earned,” he said to the union members.